- 1. Pain – Simply Explained
- 1. Pain – Simply Explained
- 2. What Is Chronic Pain?
- 3. Acute Pain Vs Chronic pain?
- 4. What Are the Causes of Chronic Pain?
- 5. Are You at Risk of Chronic Pain?
- 6. Symptoms to Look Out For
- 7. Diagnosing Chronic Pain
- 8. Treatment for Chronic Pain
- 9. How Can I Help Myself with Chronic Pain?
- 10. Curing/Preventing Chronic Pain
We have all experienced pain. Aches, bruises, knocks and bumps are all part of life. Chronic pain however is different. It’s an ever constant pain that has you in ongoing distress. This article is your one-stop to identify the types of chronic pain, its causes, symptoms, and most importantly what is necessary to be done to reduce or eliminate the pain. We break down chronic pain syndrome so that you are better prepared to manage it.
Pain – Simply Explained
Whilst it is agonising, pain, in some cases might be a good thing. It teaches us what not to do, for instance touching a hot stove and where our limits are, for example 20 minutes on the bike is your safe limit.Read More: Chronic Pain Management Clinic & Self Program
What Is Chronic Pain?
Read More: CBT for Chronic Pain – Know All About It!
Acute Pain vs Chronic Pain?
Read More: Chronic Pain And Fatigue: Coping Techniques
What Are the Causes of Chronic Pain?
However, chronic pain can take place without any prior reason. These can be caused due to underlying health conditions. Mental illness may worsen chronic pain.
Below are a few of the most common causes of chronic pain.Recent surgeries
Post-op chronic pain is one of the most common complications after surgery. This issue may be caused due to reduced mobility or activities after surgery, the effect surgery has on the quality of life, and the increased utilization of health care. However, The issue of post-op chronic pain is not limited to major surgeries. In other words, surgical techniques influencing the nervous system are one of the major reasons behind post-op chronic pain.
Past injuriesLong after a past injury, and long after the healing of the damaged muscles, your brain may still receive pain signals from your nerves. Take this as a malfunctioning alarm that’s based on an event that’s been over a long time ago. However, this may cause lasting chronic pain without an existing reason. This may also take place due to nerve damage that may have happened when you injured yourself.
Joint problemsThe most common joint problem causing chronic pain is Arthritis. Joints are what connect bones. In other words, any damage caused to the joins will have you in pain and make it difficult to get about. Straining and straining your joints can lead to this situation.
These pains can be mildly irritating to extremely painful. Above all, they tend to last a long time.
Lots of things can be wrong inside your head. If left undiagnosed and untreated, these wrong things can develop to be extremely dangerous. Therefore, the pain can be everlasting. In other words, it is unlikely you will ever get a clear head and ability to focus without having to suffer.
Migraines, tension headaches, and sinus headaches are painful. Thus, the victim is likely to experience a continuous pounding in the head, nausea, and sensitivity to light. Chronic pain tends to continue for a long time. That can happen even after these extreme symptoms are treated. Things may not be as bad, but you may still wake up with an aching head.
CancerCancer related pain can be acute or chronic.
Chronic pain of cancer can be due to the nerve damage caused. When cancer presses on nerves due to the chemicals produced by the tumor, nerve damage happens. The pain can continue long after treatment and healing. It may also become severe at times but will last all the time.
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Are You at Risk of Chronic Pain?
- Have had a recent injury
- Had a surgery
- Female (chronic pain more often affects women)
- Previous episodes of chronic pain
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Symptoms to Look Out For
- Extremely lethargic and not wanting to be active.
- Dull pain
- Throbbing/pulling pain
- No appetite
- Mood swings
- Severe lack of energy
- Soreness/stiffness of muscles
It is important to remember that chronic pain symptoms change according to the underlying cause.
Diagnosing Chronic Pain
For a formal diagnosis and treatment, you should meet your healthcare provider. Make sure to take a list of medications you are taking. It helps the doctor identify any underlying illnesses. Below are some of the questions they may ask in order to identify the issue and provide the necessary care.
- Since when have you been experiencing pain?
- How severe does the pain get?
- What makes the pain better or bearable?
- Is there a reason that may cause these pains?
- Does anywhere else on your body hurt?
- What kind of pain do you feel?
- Have you had treatment before?
In addition, below are a few questions you can ask your doctor to make facts clear for yourself.
- Why am I in pain?
- Is it likely to go away?
- *If prescribed what kind of side effects will the medication have on me?
- Can therapy help in my case?
- How can I relieve the pain?
- What should I do in case it gets worse?
- For how long should I take this treatment?
- When should I come back for a checkup?
Your doctor may order a C.T. scans or M.R.I. to determine if any underlying injury causing the chronic pain. Blood tests are also ordered to rule out inflammatory disease. Nerve conduction studies may be exclude nerve damage. Other tests may include urine tests, balance tests, X-rays, etc.
Read More: Chronic Wrist Pain- Learn Ways to Manage it!
Treatment for Chronic Pain
Therapy is also used on patients with chronic pain issues. It is a counseling method that helps people cope with their pain. Any sort of therapy is mostly used when the cause for the pain cannot be identified. This also includes counseling. Occupational therapy will help victims to engage in daily activities in ways that cause minimum pain. Physical therapy will help them engage in exercises and build daily activity habits to cope with the pain.Other treatment options for chronic pain patients include,
- stress reduction
How Can I Help Myself with Chronic Pain?
Even though chronic pain is unlikely to be cured, there are still things that can be done to reduce the pain. Below are a few strategies that are meant to be of help.
Do not push yourself too hard
You are in pain. It is okay to not be able to do 100% of the things you used to. Try to stick to a plan and get the well-deserved rest. Trying too hard will only make the situation worse. Physically and emotionally.
Stick to a balanced diet
It is important to keep up with the energy level your body requires, especially under the stress a chronic pain patient is. Make sure you have those vegetables, fruits, and enough protein on your plate, and a lot of water in your cup.
Get enough sleep
The medication and physical strain you are under will undoubtedly exhaust you. Not to mention, the continuous pain. Your body and mind need the rest of a good night’s sleep.
Stay as active as possible
So much as sitting up may be hard when you’re experiencing chronic pain, but being immobile only makes the situation worse. In addition to engaging in daily activities, try to get in some home exercise.
Limit Alcohol/ Smoking
Your body needs attention. Listen to its needs at this critical time. Be aware of what goes in it. The goal is to get better.
Try to relaxDo what it takes to keep you happy and motivated. Join a support group, so you can learn from their experiences. Try breathing in or slow counting when the pain gets hard. Remind yourself that you are trying. Your body is trying, and that no one is going to give up. Look back at the long way you have come. Be proud of what you have overcome.
Engage in yoga/dancing
Try a fun way to keep you active. Yoga can be a very healthy way of staying busy. It is a specially designed exercise to benefit your muscles and bones. Put on your favorite music and dance around, when you feel down. Make sure to remember that it is a good life, just a little hard at times.
Pet therapyIf you are a pet lover, your pain is about to disappear with this plan. Adopt, foster, or visit your favorite animal. Make it two or three. Help them relieve their pain while having them help you, with yours. Pets can be a great way of relaxing. Not everyone is lucky enough to develop that bond and love with pets.
Get yourself massaged
You can hire help to massage you when you need it. Chronic pain can become severe without warning. Help that is advised on how best to serve you will be a good investment to relieve your pain.
Read More: Living with Chronic Pain.